Are “Unique Finds” a Passing Trend?

January 27, 2012No comments

How unique is home décor you buy at a retail chain? It’s surely more individualized than it used to be. Stores such as Restoration Hardware, CB2, Pottery Barn, and West Elm have all brought unique décor into their available product mix.

In a recent New York Times article, “All that authenticity may be getting old,” writer Emily Weston asked, “have we finally reached a saturation point, where the ‘authentic’ loses its eternal quality and becomes another fad?”

Even though nationwide shops have partnered with Etsy, an internet marketplace for handmade items, and other artisans to bring that “found” quality to their product selection, these are still items that are mass marketed. Truly found items are one of a kind. Will we ever tire of either?

No, and I’ll tell you why. Every retailer needs to bring in new items every single season and yes, these items will trend. By partnering with artisans and other product designers, West Elm has ramped up their unique offerings to consumers. There’s always something fresh and new at West Elm, and because of that we like to shop there often.

Every time we see an original piece of artwork or vintage collectible, we are visually blending in the distinctive qualities of our home décor that no one else will have in their design. In this way, mass-marketed items become unique.

One of my favorite design resources is an antique shop where everything is blended together — lamps, chairs, artwork, etc. I have to pull out what I want and set it aside just like choosing a crayon out of box. I visually pull together the blend of items that will create a lively environment.

Blending new with old, and found with mass marketed items is a way to tell a story — a visual story of your likes and what inspires you. It’s sort of a Pinterest board or bulletin board for your home, and thankfully no two homes are ever truly decorated alike.

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